Jolly Sally Pendleton; Or, the Wife Who Was Not a Wife
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Title: Jolly Sally Pendleton
The Wife Who Was Not a Wife
Author: Laura Jean Libbey
Release Date: July 29, 2009 [eBook #29544]
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***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK JOLLY SALLY PENDLETON***
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Jolly Sally Pendleton
The Wife who was Not a Wife
By Laura Jean Libbey
HART SERIES No. 43
COPYRIGHT 1897 BY GEORGE MUNRO'S SONS.
THE ARTHUR WESTBROOK COMPANY
Cleveland, O., U. S. A.
|I.||BOTH GIRLS WERE SO STUNNINGLY PRETTY, AND WORE SUCHODD, BEWITCHING COSTUMES ON THEIR TANDEM, THAT THEPEOPLE WHO STOPPED TO WATCH THE BEAUTIES AS THEYWHIRLED BY NICKNAMED THEM "THE HEAVENLY TWINS."||5|
|II.||IT IS ONE THING TO ADMIRE A PRETTY GIRL, QUITE ANOTHER THING TO FALL INLOVE WITH HER.||10|
|III.||THE TERRIBLE WAGER AT THE GREAT RACE.||13|
|V.||"SHALL WE BREAK THIS BETROTHAL, THAT WAS MADE ONLY IN FUN?"||23|
|VI.||THE WAY OF WOMEN THE WHOLE WORLD OVER.||26|
|VIII.||"OH, I AM SO GLAD THAT YOU HAVE COME, DOCTOR!"||36|
|IX.||"WHAT A LONELY LIFE FOR THIS BEAUTIFUL YOUNG GIRL!"||38|
|X.||WHAT IS LIFE WITHOUT LOVE?||40|
|XI.||A SHADOW DARKENS THE PEACEFUL HOME OF THE BASKET-MAKER.||45|
|XII.||"YOU ARE FALSE AS YOU ARE FAIR, BERNARDINE!"||48|
|XIII.||HE WISHED HE COULD TELL SOME ONE HIS UNFORTUNATE LOVE STORY.||52|
|XIV.||"HAVE I BROKEN YOUR HEART, MY DARLING?"||58|
|XV.||"I LOVE YOU! I CAN NOT KEEP THE SECRET ANY LONGER!"||61|
|XVI.||"WHERE THERE IS NO JEALOUSY THERE IS LITTLE LOVE!"||64|
|XVIII.||FATE WEAVES A STRANGE WEB.||74|
|XIX.||"TRUE LOVE NEVER DOES RUN SMOOTH."||80|
|XX.||"IT WOULD BE WISER TO MAKE A FRIEND THAN AN ENEMY OF ME."||84|
|XXI.||JASPER WILDE MEETS WITH AN ADVENTURE.||87|
JOLLY SALLY PENDLETON
THE WIFE WHO WAS NOT A WIFE
BOTH GIRLS WERE SO STUNNINGLY PRETTY, AND WORE SUCHODD, BEWITCHING COSTUMES ON THEIR TANDEM, THAT THEPEOPLE WHO STOPPED TO WATCH THE BEAUTIES AS THEYWHIRLED BY NICKNAMED THEM "THE HEAVENLY TWINS."
As Jay Gardiner drove down the village street behind his handsome pairof prancing bays, holding the ribbons skillfully over them, all thevillage maidens promenading up the village street or sitting in groupson the porches turned to look at him.
He was certainly a handsome fellow; there was no denying that. He wastall, broad-shouldered, with a fair, handsome face, laughing blue eyes,a crisp, brown, curling mustache, and, what was better still, he washeir to two millions of money.
He was passing the summer at the fashionable little village of Lee,among the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts.
That did more to advertise the place than all the glow[Pg 6]ing newspaperitems the proprietor of the Summerset House could have paid for.
Every mother of a marriageable daughter who had heard of the millionairemanaged to rake and scrape together enough money to pass the season atLee.
It was laughable to see how adroitly these mothers managed to secure anintroduction, upon one pretext or another, to the handsome millionaire.Then the daughters were duly brought forward and presented.
Every one knew the story of Jay Gardiner. His lady-mother and eldersister lived in what was called the Castle, the grandest and most famoushomestead by far in Great Barrington.
With all the millions at her command, haughty Mrs. Gardiner had but onegreat sorrow, and that was that her handsome son could not be induced toremain at home and lead the life of a fashionable young gentleman ofleisure.
At college he had declared his intention of studying medicine. He hadgraduated with high honors, and, much to his mother's annoyance, hadestablished himself as a full-fledged M. D.
If he had been poor, perhaps patients might not have come to him soreadily; but as it was, he found himself launched at once into alucrative practice.
This particular summer upon which our story opens, his grand lady-motherwas unusually incensed against handsome Jay. He had refused to spend hisvacation at the Castle, because, as he explained, there was a bevy offashionable girls invited there for him to fall in love with, and whomhe was expected to entertain.
"The long and the short of it is, mother, I shall not do it," hedecisively declared. "I shall simply run over[Pg 7] to Lee and take up myquarters in some unpretentious boarding-house, where I can come down tomy meals and lounge about in a négligé shirt, and read my papers andsmoke my cigars swinging in a hammock, without being disturbed bygirls."
In high dudgeon his lady-mother and sister had sailed off to Europe, andthey lived all their after-lives to rue it, and to bemoan the fact thatthey had not stayed at home to watch over the young man, and to guardthe golden prize from the band of women who were on the lookout for justsuch an opportunity.
Jay Gardiner found just such an ideal boarding-house as he was lookingfor. Every woman who came to the village with a marriageable daughtertried to secure board at that boarding-house, but signally failed.
They never dreamed that the handsome, debonair young millionaire paidthe good landlady an exorbitant price to keep women out.
Good Widow Smith did her duty faithfully.
When Mrs. Pendleton, of New York, heard of the great attraction at Lee,Massachusetts, she decided that that was the place where she and her twodaughters, Lou and Sally, should spend the summer.
"If either of you girls come home engaged to this millionaire," Mrs.Pendleton had declared, "I shall consider it the greatest achievement ofmy life. True, we live in a fine mansion on Fifth Avenue, and we aresupposed to be very wealthy; but not one of our dear five hundredfriends has discovered that the house we live in is merely rented, northat your father's business is mortgaged to the full extent. We willhave a hard time to pull through, and keep up appearances, until you twoare married off."
[Pg 8]Mrs. Pendleton established herself at the Summerset House, with her twodaughters. Every Saturday afternoon the pompous old broker went out toLee, to make a show for the girls.
"The next question is," said Mrs. Pendleton, after the trunks wereunpacked, and the pretty clothes hung up in the various closets, "whichone of you two will Mr. Gardiner prefer?"
"Me!" said jolly Sally, with a mischievous laugh, complacently gazing atthe lovely face reflected in the mirror.
"It might be as well to wait until after he is introduced to us beforeyou answer that question," said Lou. "But how are we to meet him?"
"Your father will attend to that part of the business," said Mrs.Pendleton. "He understands what he has to do, and will find a way toaccomplish it. Having marriageable daughters always sharpens a man'swits. Your father will find some way to get in with young Mr. Gardiner,depend upon that."
It required three weeks for Mr. Pendleton to secure an introduction tothe young man. On the following day the two sisters, dressed in theirbest, and hanging on their father's arms, paraded up and down thevillage streets until they espied the object of their search.Introductions naturally followed; but, much to the chagrin of the girls,their father, after chatting for a moment with handsome Mr. Gardiner,dragged them along.
"I did not have a chance to say one word to him," said Lou,disappointedly.
"Nor I," said Sally, poutingly.
"Don't make a dead set for a man the first time you[Pg 9] see him,"recommended Mr. Pendleton, grimly. "Take matters easy."
The proudest moment of their lives was when Jay Gardiner called uponthem at their hotel one afternoon. The girls were squabbling up in theirroom when his card was handed them.
"Did he say which one of us he wishes to see?" cried Lou, breathlessly.
"The Misses Pendleton," replied the bell-boy.
There was a rush for their best clothes, and an exciting time for themother in getting the girls into them.
A moment later, two girls, both pretty as pictures, with their armslovingly twined about each other, glided into the parlor. Handsome Jayturned from the window, thinking to himself that he had never beheld afairer picture.
There was half an hour's chat, and then he took his departure. He neverknew why he did it, but he invited them both to drive with him the nextday. Sally was about to answer "yes," delightedly, on the spot; but hersister, remembering her father's warning, was more diplomatic.
"We will have to ask mamma if we can go," she said.
Mrs. Pendleton, who was passing through the corridor at that moment, wascalled in. She and her elder daughter exchanged glances.
"I am sorry," she said, apologetically, "but Sally and I have anengagement for that afternoon."
The young millionaire fell into the trap at once.
"Then could not Miss Louise accompany me?" he inquired.
"If she cares to go, I really have no objection," said Mrs. Pendleton,hiding her delight with an arch smile.
[Pg 10]When he left, and the two girls had returned to their room, thestormiest kind of a scene followed.
"Take care! take care!" cautioned Mrs. Pendleton, to Sally. "Your sisterLou is twenty; you are but eighteen. You should not stand in her way."
IT IS ONE THING TO ADMIRE A PRETTY GIRL, QUITE ANOTHER THING TO FALL INLOVE WITH HER.
The next afternoon Sally Pendleton watched behind closed blinds as hersister drove off, proud and happy as a queen, in Jay Gardiner's handsomecarriage. Louise Pendleton kissed her finger-tips gracefully to theblinds, behind which she knew her rebellious sister was watching.
The drive through the country roads was delightful, it was such a fineday, so bright, so sunshiny. Jay Gardiner seemed to feel the influenceof it, and almost unconsciously cast aside the mantle of haughtiness andpride, in which he usually wrapped himself, in order to make it pleasantfor the beautiful, graceful girl whom fortune and fate had flung in hisway.
Louise realized what a golden chance she was having, and made the bestof it.
That was the beginning of the strangest romance that ever was written.
When Jay Gardiner helped his fair companion from the buggy, LouisePendleton looked shyly into her com[Pg 11]panion's face, murmuring that shehad had the most delightful drive of her life.
"I am glad you are so well pleased," answered Jay, raising his straw hatwith a low bow; adding, gallantly: "I must take your sister out and showher what beautiful roads we have here."
Louise was thoroughly diplomatic. A hot flush rose to her face, but shecrushed back the words that sprung to her lips,